July 24, 2024
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Edison/Highland Park Community Exemplifies Unity on Shavuot

As much as Shavuot signifies Moshe reaching the pinnacle of Mount Sinai, the holiday has also come to signify the pinnacle a community can achieve by studying and learning together, united in exploring and expounding on the Torah.

In Edison/Highland Park, that unity shines each year on Shavuot. For several decades, volunteers have put together a road map of shiurim and lectures on Shavuot night held at Agudath Israel, Etz Chaim, Ahavas Achim, Ateres Shlomo, Ahavas Yisrael, Ohav Emeth and Ohr Torah. The shuls, all within a two-mile radius and 30-minute walk from each other, have speakers each hour from midnight until daybreak.

Each congregation hosts the other’s rabbis and lay leaders, encompassing 35 different opportunities to learn, with an array of topics from Angels, to the 28th edition of Torah Riddles, to the Pintele Yid, to Seven Wonders in Jewish History, and many, many more. Depending on the topic and the time, people will walk all night long from one venue to another.

The learning and lectures aren’t limited to the hourly sessions. Concurrently, learning is going on with teenagers overnight, in private get togethers in people’s homes, and more sessions in the daytime, including special interest groups, culminating in the extremely popular Torah Bowl at Congregation Ahavas Achim, where six teams of two compete in answering 100 questions on anything Torah-based.

Kudos to the Vaad HaRabbonim for embracing this source of pride for friends and neighbors.


Milton Erdfarb is a past president of Congregation Ahavas Achim and he remains very active in the shul. He and his wife Debbie live in Highland Park.

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